The Dalles police believe the Sunday armed robbery of a gas station in The Dalles is connected to an armed robbery in Portland Tuesday, where a male suspect was shot by police.
The Dalles Police Sgt. Jamie Carrico said they believe the two robberies are connected due to “consistencies in surveillance videos, interviews, evidence gathered at the crime scene in the Portland area, and help from the public.”
On Sunday around 10:30 p.m., a man and a woman wearing jack-o’lantern masks entered a gas station store in the 2100 block of West Sixth Street, and pointed guns at store employees, demanding money. The only people in the store were the three employees.
On Tuesday mid-morning, a man robbed a motel in southwest Portland, and exchanged gunfire with police during a car chase, during which at least two other vehicles were hit.
A woman drove the white van as it eluded police. Three children were in the van, though police have not said how they are connected to the couple. The children were taken into protective custody.
The man and woman are married and from Sunnyside, Wash., according to KOIN 6 news. Michelle Renee Luther, 28, was jailed and was charged with attempted aggravated murder. She has no criminal history, Carrico said.
Her husband, Josh Luther, 36, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Charges against him have not been made public.
He has a lengthy criminal history, and is a registered sex offender, according to KOIN 6. He was also recently hailed as a hero for saving a boy from an exploding firecracker in July.
Carrico said, “We want the citizens of the community to rest assured that the masked armed robbers that robbed the Astro station are no longer walking around our community.”
He said connections in the case to the robbery in Portland were made possible by “diligent work from our detectives and graveyard shift who used all resources, including social medial, and really hit the pavement hard and got the ball rolling.”
He said The Dalles Police Department and Wasco County Sheriff’s Office are working with several Portland metro area agencies on the case.
“More interviews are being conducted, search warrants are being written and we hope to present it to the Wasco County district attorney in the near future,” Carrico said.
“We’ve gotten a few tips from the public that have kind of filled in some pieces of the puzzle for us. Some of those tips came in late last night, actually, and we appreciate that,” Carrico said this morning.
Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call city police at 541-296-2613.